Scott Free to Pursue Pac-10 Expansion
But he was willing to say that he's been given the green light to potentially shake up the college football landscape.
Scott talked with the media Sunday following the Pac-10's three-day annual meeting. It was clear from that conversation that Scott is about to look seriously into expanding the conference.
"I'm not in a position to announce (anything specific), but I have all the direction and support and steer from our group of presidents to pursue the next steps," Scott said. "I've got all the authority that I need to advance our process."
And just what process is that? Scott isn't saying.
"It could still go in different directions, anything from remaining as we are as the Pac-10 that's got some very bright days ahead of it, to a bigger conference footprint," Scott said.
The commissioner, who has been on the job less than a year after coming to the Pac-10 from the Women's Tennis Association, said he discussed a multitude of scenarios with athletic directors, faculty representatives and the presidents and chancellors throughout the weekend.
Scott said all are on board with a "bold vision" for the future of the conference.
"That's why I'm here," Scott said. "We've got a presidents and chancellors group that has got a tremendously bold vision and a lot of confidence about what the Pac-10 is going to look like in the future and our approach to expansion is consistent with that."
The past few days have been whirlwind of rumors and speculation. First there was the word that the Pac-10 is prepared to take as many as six schools from the Big 12, including Texas and Oklahoma. Colorado, considered to be one of the schools that would go to the Pac-10, could be replaced in the equation by Baylor. The Big 12 has reportedly given Missouri and Nebraska until next Friday to decide whether they are in or out.
Scott said he's seen most of what's out there.
"We probably have contemplated or are contemplating almost everything you've read about," Scott admitted.
But beyond that, the commissioner is playing things close to the vest. He made no comment on specific schools, scenarios or a timeline for extending possible invitations. Scott would not comment whether he has already extended invitations to any of the Big 12 schools.
Scott reiterated that he would need the future look of the conference settled before he begins television negotiations in the winter.
"We really have to the end of this year. We are in no rush to figure out what we are going to do," Scott said. "First and foremost this is about that fact that we've got upcoming media negotiations where we are going to see -- as a Pac-10 Conference -- tremendous growth, which could lead to bigger and better opportunities if we are bigger than 10. We could move more quickly if we needed to, but are under no pressure to have to decide anything sooner than this year."
By Pac-10 by-laws, expansion of the league is permitted only after a unanimous vote of the presidents and chancellors. Scott would not say whether a vote was held this weekend.
"Without having to have another meeting, we can advance our strategies," Scott said.
Scott said the there will be "hard news" coming out the Pac-10 football media days beginning on July 27. But much of that news will likely be tied to the league's new marketing initiatives, which will include an international marketing plan aimed at the Pacific Rim.